The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has lamented the worsening state of insecurity in the country, saying it is already taking a severe toll on investors’ confidence.
Speaking at the presentation of the 2013 Lagos International Trade Fair prospectus, (LITF), Tuesday, the President of LCCI, Mr. Goodie Ibru, said the situation has continued to aggravate investment risks and virtually all aspect of businesses is on the decline, while access to markets is becoming difficult; the risk to profitability and business sustainability heightened. “The risks to lives and property are at an all time high. Unless something is done very urgently to reverse this state of affairs, the benefits of the recent reforms and macro-economic management might be completely eroded,” he said.
According to him, it is regrettable as well that the incidence of kidnapping has become wide spread with a profound negative impact on the psyche of investors and the citizens as a whole. “We urge the security agencies to scale up their rescue efforts to salvage this and some similar situation.
Generally the confidence of investors, the perception and image of the country are gradually being undermined as a result of these unfortunate developments. No doubt the country has tremendous potentials to be one of the leading economies in the world, but without security, not much would happen towards the realisation of these potentials,” he added.
According to him, the theme of the 2013 Lagos International Trade Fair is “Harnessing Trade Potentials for an Inclusive Economy” and that one of the major shortcomings of the Nigerian economy is the disconnect between economic growth and the welfare of citizens.
He added that the import of an inclusive economy is the value of indigenous participation and sectoral linkages. These, he said, are the channels through which the benefits of growth could be transmitted to improve the well being of the citizens.
The Chairman, trade promotion board, Mr. Babatunde Ruwase, said the 2013 LITF, will hold in November. “We returned to the Tafawa Balewa Square last year, and I am glad to let you know that the 2013 edition of the Fair will still hold at the Tafawa Balewa Square. Returning to the Tafawa Balewa Square last year, after more than ten-years of hosting the Fair at that venue presented us with many challenges.